Sunday, June 21, 2015

Watch Barihunk "Passion" from Nürnberg

Krešimir Stražanac (left) and Tareq Nazmi (right)
Three barihunks teamed up for a stunning performance of Bach's St. John Passion, BWV 245 at the St. Lorenz Church in Nürnberg this week with Concerto Köln and the Bayerischen Rundfunks Choir. The cast also includes three amazing low voices (who also happen to be barihunks!):Tareq Nazmi as Christ, Krešimir Stražanac as Pilate and Andreas Burkhart as Peter.

The performance marked the opening of this year's International Organ Week in Nürnberg and was performed with the choir and soloists as part of the audience.

Fortunately, the performance was saved for posterity and is available for viewing online here.

Written for Good Friday in 1724, the passion was the centerpiece of Bach's year-long cycle of liturgical cantatas. His other passion setting is the more oft-performed St Matthew Passion. Perhaps the biggest joy of the St. John Passion is that, for all the ferocity and sorrow of the Good Friday story, it's a truly optimistic work, anticipating the resurrection with music suffused with light and hope. 

Andreas Burkhart (left), Tareq Nazmi (center) and Krešimir Stražanac (right)
Tareq Nazmi was born in Kuwait and grew up in Munich. He studied at the University of Music and Performing Arts Munich with Edith Wiens and Christian Gerhaher. He won first prize at both the Walter and Charlotte Hamel Foundation prize and the National Song Contest.  Since the 2012-23 season, Tareq Nazmi has been a permanent member of the Bavarian State Opera where he has performed Masetto in Mozart's Don Giovanni, the Speaker in Mozart's Magic Flute, Colline in Puccini's La bohème, Zuniga in Bizet's Carmen and Publio in Mozart's La clemenza di Tito.

Krešimir Stražanac (left) and Tareq Nazmi (right)
Stražanac studied at the Hochschule für Musik und darstellende Kunst in Stuttgart. He went on to win the International La Voce Competition of the Bavarian Radio for art song and the International Cantilena Competition in Bayreuth for opera/operetta. In September 2012, he won the International Hugo Wolf Competition in Hugo Wolf's birthplace in Gradec, Slovenia. Since the 2007-2008 season, he's been a member of the ensemble at the Opernhauses Zürich, where he's performed Ping in Turandot, Harlequin in Ariadne auf Naxos, Don Fernando in Fidelio, Morales in Carmen and Prince Yamadori in Madama Butterfly. In November 2012, he made his debut as Dr. David Livesay in the world premiere of Frank Schwemmer's Die Schatzinsel and in March 2013 in the role of Baron Tusenbach in Péter Eötvös' opera The Three Sisters.

Tareq Nazmi (left) and Krešimir Stražanac (right)
Born in Munich in 1984, the baritone Andreas Burkhart was a chorister with the Tölz Boys Choir, going on to study at the Bavarian Singakademie and from 2005 with Frieder Lang at the Munich Hochschule für Musik und Theater. Winner of a number of prizes, in 2011 he appeared at the Bonn Beethoven Festival in a recital of songs by Poulenc, Liszt, Schumann and Schubert. He is a member of the Bavarian Radio Symphony Chorus.

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